Computer game Fortnite is very popular: currently it is played by over 200 million people. Thanks to this, the company Epic Games who created the game, has earned three billion dollars in 2018. However, this story has a downside: the official currency in-game V-Bucks is increasingly used as a tool for money laundering in the dark web.
According to experts, hackers are using stolen credit cards to purchase V-Bucks. To launder money, criminals resell the currency to the players Fortnite with a small discount. For the first time about it it became known after the Sixgill employees engaged in cybersecurity participated in several deals. Benjamin Preminger, a Senior Intelligence Analyst at Sixgill, argues that criminals came up with a very simple and relatively impunity way to get money from the system Fortnite.
Such operations began to bring scammers a big benefit since the popularization of online games in the genre "battle royal". These games have hundreds of millions of fans, most of whom are naive children and teenagers.
The dark web is a separate part of the Internet, access to which can only be obtained using specialized software. Although money laundering by means of V-Bucks happening on other online platforms (e.g. social networks), the dark web is the main base for planning and implementing a variety of cybercrimes.
V-Bucks ― not the first digital currency used by criminals. The famous Bitcoin is also considered one of the main instruments for money laundering. According to the cryptocurrency research company CipherTrace, from January 2009 to September 2018 criminals laundered more than $ 2.5 billion with the help of bitcoin.
Epic Games who developed the game Fortnite, soon intends to prevent the laundering of V-Bucks. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, a spokesperson for the company said:
"Epic Games is very serious about this problem because of chargebacks and fraud are threatening our players and our business. For maximum account security, we recommend our players to enable two-factor authentication, do not use simple and repetitive passwords, and not to disclose any information about accounts to third parties".